The Food Marketing Institute is lauding a new federal bill that would help grocery retailers make improvements to their stores.

Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA 20thDistrict) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN 2ndDistrict) led a group of bipartisan House members in introducing legislation to allow for immediate expensing of qualified improvements to supermarkets and grocery stores, as well as restaurants and other retail establishments.

The bipartisan proposal addresses a drafting error in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that actually increases the cost of making these investments. 

“FMI applauds the House’s introduction of this bill,” says Andrew Harig, FMI’s senior director for sustainability, tax and trade. “This legislation will allow food retailers to take advantage of immediate expensing for improvements made to our members’ stores. These investments not only create jobs and economic activity in the communities served by our membership, they also enhance the consumer experience through modernization and technology.” 

For the past year, Harig continues, many qualified improvements have been put on hold due to a drafting error in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that actually made these investments more expensive than before tax reform. “Today’s bipartisan legislation is a needed corrective that provides for full expensing without imposing any new obligations on the Treasury. We encourage the House to take up this legislation as quickly as possible to help create certainty for food retailers throughout the United States.”